Mad Dog Coll

From Academic Kids

Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll (July 20, 1908 - February 7, 1932) was an Irish enforcer for the mafia in early 20th century New York City. He was born in County Donegal, Ireland but emigrated to the US as a youngster.

Coll earned the nickname "Mad Dog" because of the sheer pleasure he got from killing people. During the 1920s, he developed a risky but lucrative scam whereby he would kidnap powerful gangsters at gunpoint and extort a ransom from his captive's associates before releasing them. He knew that the victim would not report it to the police, especially because, being criminals, they would have a hard-time explaining to the IRS how they happened to have such huge supplies of cash in order to pay for their release.

In 1931, a powerful mobster named Salvatore Maranzano decided to have his rival, Lucky Luciano, murdered, and he hired the infamous Coll to do the job. Coll insisted on a $25,000 payment in advance with the same amount to be paid on completion of the job. On September 9 that year, Luciano was invited to visit Maranzano at his office. The plan was that Coll would turn up and kill Luciano. However, Luciano had received a tip-off about this plan so he instead sent over a squad of his own hitmen who stabbed and shot Maranzano to death. Coll turned up immediately after the murder, but Luciano had evidently not been informed that Coll was his intended killer. As such, Coll was left alone by the fleeing squad of hitmen, presumably delighted that he could keep his advance of $25,000 without having to do the job on Luciano.

Vincent Coll did not have much of a chance to advance further in the underworld ranks. He was shot to death at a telephone booth in 1932. His wild activities attracted too much attention and was frowned upon by the likes of Luciano and Dutch Schultz, who preferred a low-key existence in order to avoid too much hassle from the authorities.

Two movies about Coll have been made, both named Mad Dog Coll. One was released in 1961, where he was played by John Davis Chandler, and the other in 1993, where he was played by Christoper Bradley.


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